21st March 2022
After a 3 month delay I finally got round to redeveloping this website in WordPress – hope you like the new version.
The delay was largely due to finishing some model designs so I could complete the etch designs – now completed & sent to the etchers.
The new models are (all 1:32 scale):-
SECR H class – a complete redesign to the latest standards and components, also modelled in 3D for the exploded drawing instructions.
GWR AEC Railcar Numbers 5 – 12 Diagrams W & X (Flying Bananas)
LMS PI suburban coach set for the 3F
See the relevant pages on this website for more details
I will be taking my usual stand to the G1MRA 75th in October with my Inglenook Sidings style shunting layout attached to it (see here for details). This will enable customers (and others) to have a go at steam powered G1 shunting. I will supply a variety of locos (but you may bring & use your own) and wagons.
I will as usual be alone on my stand so I could do with some volunteers to assist in running the layout and I would like to go looking round the show at some point.
If you would like to assist please email me.
22nd March 2022
LSWR T3 page added – inital announcement.
The SR Q1 will also be available in 1/32 – I now have enough orders to justify this version.
14th April 2022
A bad dose of flu (NOT Covid) has forced a couple of weeks of design work – not fit enough to handle machine tools! The obvious target was the 1/32 scale Q1 as most of the design work was done – just rescale. Well not quite that easy as I have upgraded the boiler to a larger diameter version of the one I use on the T9, dual-fuel burner (gas or spirit), ditto fuel tank, added all the R/C bits, generally improved the design and added suspension. 3-point compensated for the loco, sprung centre axle on the tender. The etch design is now complete. I just need to build the 3D version in Solidworks – partly to prove it all fits together, partly to provide the exploded drawings for the instructions. Just hope the delay will not cause problems putting prototypes together for the G1MRA exhibition in October.
19th April 2022
New free services added – see here for details
17th May 2022
Some bad news for me personally – I need a cataract (or two) fixed fairly urgently.
Latest eye test today (16/5/22) has revealed this need. Optician booked me into a hospital on 1/6/22 (very quick) for further checks.
Examination there will reveal what really needs doing. Assuming the worst it may be possible to have the first cataract fixed a couple of weeks later then the second 2 weeks after that. Full recovery time 6 weeks, at which point I can have my eyes re-tested and get new spectacles a couple of weeks later.
This may put a serious crimp in my ability to put stuff together this year and stop me from even getting to the G1MRA exhibition in October.
As a one-man business this is likely to have a major impact on my prototype development for the October show and maybe even affect my ability to drive there.
Hopefully I should be able to do some work with one eye covered whilst waiting for the second eye to be done.
Not sure how good my vision will be at that point without spectacles to match the new lenses. Ultimately this should be good for me as I should be able to see better.
I hope this will not have too big an effect on my making kits for customers.
My apologies in advance to any customers who are affected by this unexpected development.
On top of that my wife and I should have been going on a one week walking holiday on Wednesday to Florence & Tuscany, but it has just been cancelled due to
the tour manager falling ill with no available replacement! This is the third year in succession this holiday been cancelled – the previous 2 due to Covid. It appears to be jinxed!
15th June 2022
First some good news – my first cataract operation is on 15th July with the second to follow within 4 weeks. hopefully this will have little impact on my ability to put models together.
More importantly (for customers) the trial etches for the SECR H (1/32) & LSWR M7 locos, the GWR railcar and the LMS carriages have arrived.
Now for the bad news – the cost of etching has risen by between 9 & 14%. I will absorb this and maintain my current prices for kits and ready to run locos and carriages. Unfotunately I will have to revise the costs for etch only supply with tank locos going up about £13 and tender locos by £20.
Should any further price shocks arrive I may be forced to review this again – Sorry.
I am obviously going to be very busy between now and the exhibition in October.
23rd June 2022
I now have a date for my second cataract operation on 19th August. That gives just 6 weeks to recover, get my eyes tested and new glasses so I can drive to the October exhibition – getting a bit tight.
The good news for the LMS 3F customers is that production is under way and I hope to be able to deliver the kits at the exhibition, or maybe even sooner – need to improve my cashflow!
27th August 2022
Finally got my first cataract fixed – five weeks late due to my catching Covid. All went well and my right eye is now focusing (without glasses) from 1m to infinity with no trouble. However (without glasses) my left eye still focuses from about 75mm to 200mm – everything beyond that is a blur. I have taken to not wearing glasses (even after removing the right hand lens) and my brain just ignores the left eye image as it is so out of focus. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I really need reading glasses but cannot get them until the left eye is also done and properly healing. I am having trouble reading small computer screens at about 1m distance and seeing what the milling machine is doing at the same distance.
I have reluctantly accepted that I cannot complete all the locos that I had intended to have running at the Bicester show on 1st/2nd October. This means that the only locos I will be able to run there are the OSM powered LMS 3F (almost complete with outdated boiler and other bits) and my electrically powered LSWR M7 (now 70% complete but requires no tricky work). I hope to do more work on the other locos and will have them there in (near complete?) non-running condition.
My left eye may be done before the show, but no date for the op yet. My wife will be driving me to & from the show so my attendance is not a problem.
14th September 2022
Bad news on both the eye progress & my etcher. The latter has gone into administration so I now need to find a new etcher. This may have some effect on future prices, but I will try to keep increases as small as possible.
My right eye is not recovering quite as fast as hoped – focus is very good but at a longer distance than originally anticipated. This is making any work in the range 0.3m to 1m rather tricky as with cheap reading glasses the focal depth is very short and continually changing as the eye settles back to its final shape. The effect on my preparation for the exhibition is considerable but I hope to have 2 new prototype locos running there – the LMS 3F (Jinty) steam powered by my oscillating steam motor and the LSWR M7 with electric power. It has also delayed my production of the Jinties for existing cutomers – sorry. There will be a lot to catch up on when both eyes are finally OK.
One thing that has been missing from this new version of the website is my photo galleries. I am currently looking into the best way to do it and will be adding all the loco photos back into the website starting with the Jinty as that is what I currently have orders for. Beyond that the sequence will be determined by what loco orders I receive. When all the loco photos are up I will then start adding carriage survey photos including ones that I may not be producing. Carriage photos are a little tricky as most of the older carriages I will be producing do not actually have preserved examples, or at least not accessible ones.
29th September 2022
With great reluctance and a little annoyance I have to announce that I will not be able to attend the G1MRA 75th at Bicester this weekend (1st/2nd October) with my stand and the Inglenook Sidings layout attached to it.
Everything seems to have been going wrong since I caught Covid back at the beginning of July. This caused my first cataract operation to be put back by a month (I now have a new date for the second cataract operation of 18th October). Although the first op went well, it left me with a long focus in that eye – perfect vision from 1m to infinity. With the 2 eyes out of sync and poor focus at hand range it has had a serious impact on my ability to assemble loco models for the show. As a result of that a lot of what I had intended to take to the show is not yet ready.
It also means that I am reliant on my wife to drive to and from the show. She has been unwell for the last 2 weeks. The final killer is that her mother (103 years, old, deaf, demented and disabled, haemorrhaging money at the rate of £2000 per week for 2 carers) has just been taken into hospital (suspected stroke or lung condition, diagnosis unconfirmed) so my wife is reluctant to go away for the weekend. This trip seems to be jinxed.
Hope the show goes well.
6th October 2022
I hear the show went well – very sad to miss it.
Inevitably by Saturday afternoon both my wife and mother in law seemed fine, but by then it was too late to take my stand there.
Added a new page to the website to make it clear that manual control options are still available.
Please note that electric power is available as an option on all locos.
I am now concentrating on completing the current batch of LMS 3F locos but I suspect it will be mid November before I can really do any close work – both eyes will need to recover to the point where I can order new spectacles for hand range.
Hopefully I will make it to the next G1MRA show – next spring perhaps.
7th October 2022
LMS 3F (full size) – image gallery added
19th October 2022
Had the second cataract op yesterday - went very well. 6 hours after the op my left eye vision was almost the same as my right eye and is still improving. Not sure where the final focus will end up yet. Will probably still need driving and reading glasses mainly for the prisms to straighten out my eyes. Left is currently a bit left and bit below the right. Left also has a 30 degree clockwise rotation compared to the right, but I suspect that is not correctable with new glasses. Good to get my depth perception back. Probably need to give the eye a bit of a rest for a week, then back to modelling.